American Anodyne

American Anodyne

 Atlanta, Georgia, USA
BandAmericanaCountry

Soaked in moonshine and forged from gold, American Anodyne is a band melded in the furnace of Appalachia. These truly southern gentlemen are creating a brand of Americana reminiscent of ‘70’s outlaw country while embracing the sentiments of modern times. Think Merle Haggard meets Steve Earle.

Biography

Soaked in moonshine and forged from gold, American Anodyne is a band melded in the furnace of Appalachia. These truly southern gentlemen are creating a brand of Americana reminiscent of ‘70’s outlaw country while embracing the sentiments of modern times. American Anodyne’s music convey tales of small town life and portrays the hardship of living in the ‘new depression'. With songs depicting a lust for the open road, heartbreaks, and handguns their no-holds-barred style of portraying life in the south is honest and authentic. Their first EP “So, you want to be a bullfighter…” was released in April of 2011 and features the tracks “Call My Brother” and “Bastard Sons of the New Depression.”

The concept of American Anodyne was created about 4am on the night of January 9th, 2010 under cold, clear skies in the sleepy town of Dahlonega, Georgia. Erick Jones (lead vocals / rhythm guitar) and Chris Thacker (lead guitar / backing vocals) had been doing some drinking, some picking, and some talking about the idea of putting a band together for quite a while, but on that faithful night the two decided that they would definitely create a musical entity, make a record, and hit the road in the spring.

The very next morning Thacker received a call to go on tour for the better part of 2010, but all things happen for a reason.

Erick kept writing, kept performing, and kept honing the body of work that has become the foundation for American Anodyne. He and Thacker kept in contact during the duration of Thacker’s tour schedule, with Erick sending him song ideas and musical concepts, and continued their dialogue about a future project. “I had all these songs that I needed to bounce off someone and Thacker has always been an objective critic, an honest critic, and we’ve always had a great working repoire”, said Jones. Upon Thacker’s return from the road in the fall of 2010 he and Jones reconvened and began work in earnest to produce the sound that is American Anodyne.

Enter Kevin Rainwater (drums). Kevin returned from Asheville, North Carolina in the fall of 2010 and fell right in with Erick and Thacker. “We were on the hunt for a drummer, and had auditioned a couple people, but none of them had the feel we were looking for,” said Thacker, who had played with Rainwater for six years in the band Big City Sunrise. “Rainwater has a way of carrying the vibe that very few drummers have. He pushes the music over the top when it needs to be pushed, and he brings it down when the song needs to breathe.” With three-quarters of a band in place rehearsals started to happen on a semi-regular basis and the concept was beginning to evolve into a genuine sound. “We were all excited about the direction we were headed in. It was thoughtful, a little tongue-in-cheek, and somewhat rowdy. It’s definitely a reflection of us; rough and tumble with a big ol’ heart pinned on our sleeve,” said Rainwater.

January 10th, of 2011 American Anodyne headed to WizKid Sound in Atlanta with longtime friend Mike O’Connor to record their debut EP “So, you want to be a bullfighter…”. Almost a year to the day after postponing their project, Erick, Thacker, and Rainwater were headed to the studio to make a record. “We were all really excited but I’d be lying if I said we weren’t a little scared. We had templates of songs, a few ideas, a couple of months of rehearsal, and no bass player,” says Thacker, “We were all curious to see what would happen and knew we had to make a leap of faith and get these songs tracked.”

There is nothing better in the world than a good friend and American Anodyne had an abundance of help from their friends in the Atlanta music community to create “So, you want to be a bullfighter…” “We borrowed amps, microphones, and guitars from all over town. We used drums from two or three different bands all piled together to make a kind of Frankenstein drum kit,” say Rainwater. Another longtime friend of the band, Gregg Shapiro (bass player for Sonia Leigh), came to the studio to lend his talents to the EP. “We didn’t have a bass player and I’d played shows with Gregg over the years. He’s always at the top of the list when you talk about great bass players,” said Thacker, “I called him up and asked if he could help us out. I might have pleaded actually,” laughs Thacker, “He showed up with a few hours to spare before a gig and killed it. I’ve witness people work efficiently in the studio but never anything like this. It took him maybe two hours to lay down the bass tracks without ever hearing the songs. He’s as good as they get.” After seven days of tracking, mixing, and mastering “So, you want to be a bullfighter…” was a finished product. It’s an honest record of pure emotion, first takes, and late nights that really captures the pureness of making music with friends.

The next move for American Anodyne was to start playing shows, but they needed a bass player. Thacker had a late night conversation

Lyrics

Bastard Sons Of The New Depression

Written By: Erick Jones

Bastard Sons of the New Depression
By: Erick Jones / American Anodyne

Well I’m out of work, out of luck
Uninsured and I’m pretty much fucked
All I’ve got is my momentary redemptions
Hard times they’re going round
You can see ‘em on every face in town
Every soul seems lost in the same progression

Chorus:
Mother look at me now, I’m out of work and I don’t know how to get
Underpaid for all my labor
Pop if you could see me now
Caught in a world lost in regression
Another bastard son of the new depression

Hard times they’re universal
Everybody’s got ‘em, they’re going commercial
There must be profit to be made in laying blame
Every day I do what I can
but I’m like smoke in the air without any plans
and every decision I can’t make seems to fan the flames

chorus:

I could take flight to another town
See all new faces and all new frowns
The same complaints in new destinations
But my grandmother still needs the grass cut
I’m happy to help, I guess it’s just her luck
That all my efforts build a monument to my frustrations

Chorus:

Call My Brother

Written By: Erick Jones

Call My Brother
By: Erick Jones / American Anodyne

Well I’ve got me a job, nothing fancy
I’ve it since I left high school
Always pay my taxes on time
And I send my kids to school
I go to church on Sunday
Try to live by the golden rule
But sometimes I do unto others
Like I’m a golden fool
To tell the truth I don’t mean no harm
But sometimes my restless bone
Starts itchin’ and kickin’ and pokin’ and proddin’
And I’ve got to leave my home
I head on down to the watering hole
And when you hear me start to complain
If you know what’s good for you
You’ll stay out of my way

Chorus:
I might get drunk tonight, get in a fight
Til I hear the cops in route
Get ‘em up off their lazy asses
It’ll do ‘em some good to get out
At the end of the day in a town this size
There ain’t too much to shout about
I might just get drunk tonight
And call my brother to bail me out

Well my wife
Bless her gentle soul
She cured me of most of my wicked ways
Done her best to saved my soul
But here lately she says
It’s getting pretty old
I’m tired of praying every Sunday
To get you out of Saturday’s hole
Well I say listen woman
Don’t you worry ‘bout me
Cause ever since you had me saved
Me and Jesus are tight you see
All my sins got left in the river
And washed right out to sea
St. Peter ain’t got no problems
He ain’t got no dirt on me

Wheels

Written By: Erick Jones

Wheels
By: Erick Jones / American Anodyne

Well I guess I feel the need to confess
about all the things that lead to my emptiness
It just gets so hard to hang it in the air
When you look so pretty standing there
I might not be content it’s true
But that’s got nothing to do with you
It just that when the road starts calling
All of my resolve starts falling
I’ve got a song in my heart, it was written on the road
I’ve got a feeling I can’t shake and I can’t unload
It’s not that it’s right and it’s not that it’s wrong
It’s just so hard to say I had to put it in a song

Chorus:
All I really want is wheels
Someone on the slide and someone on the steel
Someone to hold the bottom down
And a long white line leading out of town
It’s not that I don’t want to hang around
And it ain’t that I don’t like this town
It’s just that when the sun breaks over those hills
All I really want is wheels

I’ve always had a problem sitting still
I don’t know what I’m looking for
And maybe never will
Every time I see a car with out of state plates
My mind starts running like an old V-8
I want dust on the windshield
And rubber on the road
Every time I think about it I want to explode
I want climb behind the wheel
Let the windows down
Put the pedal to the metal and blow this town
Put my guitar in the back and let these wheels ride
But it’s never fast enough, I’m never satisfied
Three on the tree or four or the floor
I don’t give a damn I just want one gear more

The Anniversary

Written By: Erick Jones

The Anniversary
By: Erick Jones / American Anodyne

It’s a quarter to one, she’s pretty sure he’s not coming home
It’s OK it just might be the best gift she got today
Another circle on the calendar, but what the hell does she keep doing that for?
He’s never made any effort, never really tried to believe
She makes sure the kids are tucked in, take the bills out to the mailbox and walks back in
Hoping there’s enough left over to take ‘em for watermelon on the 4th of July
She makes sure to lock the door, but what the hell does she keep doing that for
The only one she really wants to keep out has had a key since ‘94

What she really needs, is a bottle of whiskey
And a Remington, to correct all the shit he’s done

She should’ve listened to what her momma said, “that boy’s a loser, you’ll probably end up dead,
Or at best he’ll be in jail and your kids’ll playing in my front yard.
Where’re you going be when you’re living with me, and that boy’s in County for eternity.
Then your kids are saying ‘I love you Daddy, Happy Father’s Day’ through taxpayer glass.
Is that what you want, a life of hard times? A broke down shack and counting up dimes?
Mark my words you’ll wish you listened, wish you could go back and start again.”
She used to think about getting away, now her only concern is making it through today
Tomorrow she’ll wake up and do it all again, it’s the kids that keep her moving on

What she really needs, is a bottle of whiskey
And a Remington, to correct all the shit he’s done

It’s a quarter to one, She’s pretty sure he’s not coming home
It’s OK it just might be the best gift she got today

El Dorado, Dark Blue

Written By: Erick Jones

El Dorado, Dark Blue
By: Erick Jones / American Anodyne

Wake up in a cold grey cell, you don’t remember your name
Wake up in your woman’s arms & you feel about the same
Everyday is the same routine, the same wretched waste of time
& if you don’t get out, you’re going to leave this world behind
Your grand plans fell apart at 17, when Jenni broke the news to you
Time to trade in that two-seater on a family sedan, El Dorado, dark blue
Instead of the wind in your hair & the open road keeping you young and alive
You got a ring, a mortgage, a stroller and a dog, and the same old 9 to 5
Punch the clock twice a day in a place where time never stops
To make the money you’ve already spent on things you never really got
& so it went year after year, piano lessons and ball games
Jenni still has the same eyes that she did, but the lines on her face have changed

Chorus
I’ve been riding in a dark blue El Dorado
From 6 in the morning to the Carolina shore
I’m going to trade in this worn out pink slip on a brand new piece of mind
Put the top down, and leave the El Dorado behind

Wake up in a cold grey cell, and you don’t remember your name
Wake up in an empty bed, you were 17 just yesterday
Kids are grown they’ve got kids of their own. They don’t call too much these days
Jenni’s been gone a while now, 3 years ago come this May
For 34 years you worked a 9 to 5 til there was nothing else you could do
Don’t have the skills for anything else, its small town roots for you
When you’re all alone it’s easy to remember all the dreams that went up in flames
All the plans you forgot about when Jenni changed her name
When you start to reason it out, seems like one of two things to do
Get busy moving on, or get busy moving through
You take early retirement, half a pension’s more than enough for just you
You pack only one small suitcase, hop into El Dorado, dark blue

Chorus

Discography

So, you want to be a bullfighter... (EP, April 2011)